Fishermen have long been fans of Japanese reels. From Shimano to Daiwa, Japanese reels have been known to be of incredibly high-quality, sturdy and value-for-money. In this guide, we introduce you to the wonderful world of Shimano, easily one of the more popular brands of Japanese fishing reels available!
* Note: The prices indicated in this article are the official prices provided by Shimano. You can often find the same reels for cheaper prices on online marketplaces or auction sites like Yahoo Auctions, Caster House or Yellowfish.
- SHIMANO Stella SW 2019
- SHIMANO Vanquish 2019
- SHIMANO Calcutta Conquest DC 2019
- SHIMANO Antares 2019
- SHIMANO Scorpion MGL 2019
- SHIMANO SLX MGL 2019
- SHIMANO Grappler CT 2019
- SHIMANO Engetsu T 2019
* Some of these models will only be released at a later date, but are currently available for pre-order.
The Shimano Stella spinning reels have always been lauded by fishermen for their superb quality, and the 2019 model improves on an already magnificent reel. It comes with an Infinity Drive system that drastically reduces the sliding resistance of the main shaft. This is due to the main shaft being supported by a high-sliding bushing, with a pinion gear inner that does not make contact with it. It is also covered with a special skidding coating that further reduces sliding resistance. With the Infinity Drive system, handle rotation torque has been cut by around 30% in comparison to conventional systems, creating an incredibly powerful reel.
Note: Available only in the 10000 and 14000 models.
With a ‘Heat Sink Panel’ that releases heat generated by drag, drag performance caused by thermal sagging is decreased by close to half! It works in tandem with an ‘insulation sheet’ that blocks heat transfer to the spool. This effectively stops spool temperatures from rising by around 30%.
The new model uses X-Protect, which provides stopper bearing protection and high-level waterproofing. This can also be found in the line roller, where the bearings are protected from saltwater environments which might wear them down. Shimano comparison tests show that this improves durability up to 10 times!
In addition to the new features highlighted above, the reel comes with a Hagane gear and body for a higher durability and smoother winding, an X-Rigid rotor that is even more compact than its predecessor, an X-Ship system, Silent Drive, X-Tough Drag as well as Rigid Support Drag.
Browse Shimano Stella CW 2019 Reels on ZenMarket
The new Vanquish model from Shimano is an impressively lightweight reel that is even lighter than its predecessor. Its weight has decreased by at least 20g for all sizes, and up to 40g for the 4000XG model. In fact, the new Vanquish 2500S comes it at a whooping 165g, the weight of the Stella SW 1000, while the new Vanquish 4000XG at 200g is the weight of the Stradic 1000.
The lightweight reel does not come at the expense of its rigidity. With a Hagane body and gear, the reel offers more durability and rigidity than conventional models. In fact, gear durability is said to have been improved to the point where it is as good as the premium Stella SW models. It also has a lighter rotor which helps to reduce start-up inertia. This makes you can easily start up a rotation with little force, and it is easy to stop as well.
The new Vanquish is equipped with a Long Stroke Spool, previously only seen on the Stella reels. This gives you longer casting distances of up to 4% than the previous model! X-Protect also provides stopper bearing protection and superior waterproofing for the reel.
Browse Shimano Vanquish 2019 Reels on ZenMarket
The Calcutta Conquest DC is one of Shimano’s more popular baitcasting coils, and the newly updated model is sure to be a hit. It employs a micro-module gear system for an incredibly smooth gearing that includes pinion and master gears with twice the number of gear teeth than its predecessors for reduced gearing noise.
The state of the art i-DC5 brake system also allows for smoother, longer casting. It comes with 5 levels of tuning, including a wind mode for strong wind conditions.
Browse Shimano Calcutta Conquest DC 2019 Reels on ZenMarket
One of Shimano’s new flagship reels, the Antares 2019 is a gorgeous, sleek casting reel that easily casts both light and heavy baits. It features a streamlined Hagane body with a MGL Spool III. The MGL Spool is one of the key features of this reel, allowing for longer casting even when skipping or pitching your bait.
The reel is incredibly compact, fitting snugly in the palm of your hands. Do not be fooled by its size, though. It packs Micro-Module Gearing, X-Ship and an SVS Infinity Braking system, all of which increase the functionality of the reel. To add to its design, it features an asymmetric shape that makes it more comfortable to hold, with a thumb rest that fits snugly when holding a rod.
Browse Shimano Antares 2019 Reels on ZenMarket
If you’re looking for an affordable but still terrific reel from Shimano, their Scorpion MGL 2019 is significantly cheaper than many of the releases on this list at a recommended retail price of 27,000 JPY. Even at its price point, the Scorpion reels are popular, and the MGL 2019 should be no different. It is a lightweight yet sturdy baitcasting reel with a durable aluminum alloy body, X-Ship gearing system and MGL spool.
All of these features come together to form a durable reel that has fantastic casting performance with fast acceleration, especially for light rigs. The SVS Infinite Braking system, included in many of the more premium models, is also included here. As an aside, the scorpion design on the reel looks magnificent!
Browse Shimano Scorpion MGL 2019 Reels on ZenMarket
Shimano’s SLX has been given an entirely new upgrade. The design of the reel has been overhauled and now features a Hagane body, an MGL spool and the SVS Infinity braking system. It is a compact and lightweight baitcasting reel perfect for a wide range of freshwater fishing styles.
The MGL spool allows you to cast over longer distances as compared to conventional models, and this is due to its lighter weight as well as the lower moment of inertia. It is best suited for light to medium lures up to 21g. The SVS Infinity braking system is also complemented by external dials that allow you to finetune brake adjustments. This is a fine reel to pick up if you’re looking for a baitcasting reel at a reasonable price.
Browse Shimano SLX MGL 2019 Reels on ZenMarket
If you’re into game fishing, the Grappler CT 2019 is a must-have! This reel comes with a fall speed control lever that allows you to adjust the jig falling speed, which is displayed on a screen on the body. This helps identify water depth as well as the target area of fish, making it incredibly useful.
The reel has a tough Hagane body, making it a solid, rigid reel perfect for fighting big fish. It also has X-Protect, Shimano’s premier waterproofing feature, to further protect your reel from saltwater environments.
Browse Shimano Grappler CT 2019 Reels on ZenMarket
The Shimano Engetsu CT 2019 is a baitcasting reel chockful of features sure to delight any fishermen, whether casual or serious. A lightweight reel, it comes with a digital line counter and an audible metronome function that, similar to our previous reel, will allow you to control slow jig techniques. The Super Free (SF) bearing-supported pinion gear system eliminates friction on the spool shaft while casting, increasing freespool.
The reel is also equipped with shield anti-reverse bearings that help to reduce possible damage from salt or sand on the bearings’ rotation. This is a wonderful reel to add to your collection!
Browse Shimano Engetsu CT 2019 Reels on ZenMarket
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